Escobar producing as Royals' No. 2 hitter

Escobar producing as Royals' No. 2 hitter

Escobar producing as Royals' No. 2 hitter
KANSAS CITY -- Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar is enjoying a breakout season offensively, and seems to be suited for the No. 2 spot in manager Ned Yost's lineup.

Escobar has been hitting in the two-hole since July 1 in Minnesota. In 10 games since entering Sunday, Escobar was hitting .293 with a .370 on-base percentage, two doubles, a triple, two home runs, seven runs scored and seven RBIs. That was highlighted by Saturday's two-homer performance in the Royals' 6-3 win over the White Sox.

"He's done so good, and you look at him and you can really envision him being a No. 2 hitter on a championship club," Yost said. "So we wanted to, not as much get a look at him, but develop him in that spot, let him get used to it so that when the time comes he's going to be totally comfortable there. But he's done a great job. He's doing everything we want him to do in the two-spot."

The role of a No. 2 hitter is to see a lot of pitches, get on base and be able to lay down a bunt. It's a rare player that can do all those things well. Yost said that Escobar has been doing those things all year, and that's what led to the change.

"He was selective down low [in the order], too," Yost said. "That's one of the reasons we decided to move him to the two-hole, because he was seeing a bunch of pitches. He was laying off a lot of sliders away and things that you want him to do. That, coupled with the fact that he was hitting over .300, made it a pretty easy choice."

But what of Saturday's home-run barrage? A No. 2 hitter isn't typically known for his power stroke and Yost said Escobar should be cautious to not get in a home-run mindset.

"We've got to be careful with the home runs. It takes away from what he does really well -- that's stay in the middle, hit the ball the opposite way -- but he does have the ability to hit homers. So it was impressive to see him do that," Yost said. "He's had a great year to this point, offensively, and I'm real pleased with the progress he's made to this point."